We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day – Reform, not the Tories, is starting to inherit the Brexit realignment

Ever since their defeat, many Tories have been on the airwaves smothering themselves with comfort blankets. They’ve been saying Farage and Reform are merely a ‘protest vote’. Are ‘far right’. Are ‘not Conservative’. But actually the evidence does not support this at all. Reform, we already know, rallied an electorate that is socially distinctive —is mainly older, leans toward the working-class and non-graduates, and tends to be outside the cities and university towns. This makes it ‘sticky’, more likely it will stick to Reform in the years ahead. And in his post-election poll, Lord Ashcroft finds that most of the people who voted for Reform did so because they ‘preferred the promises made by the party I voted for more than the promises of other parties’, and ‘I trusted the motives of the party I voted for more than those of other parties’. This does not sound like protest to me. It sounds like a very instrumental vote rooted in sincere and coherent concerns about the country. Furthermore, the top issue for these voters is immigration and asylum, once again underlining their coherent worldview.

Matt Goodwin

Samizdata quote of the day – It is Tony’s world now, and we all just get to live in it

Having “got Brexit done”, the Tories in theory had a one-off opportunity to change the frame. They could have used the time to pack Britain’s NGOcracy with their people, or even tackle the plethora of New Labour constitutional innovations that paved the way for the post-liberal order. But they didn’t take it, which suggests that either they had so poor a grasp of the political machine they supposedly operated as to make an inadvertent case for the technocratic “experts” they affected to deplore. Or else, perhaps, they understood how that technocracy worked, and liked it just fine.

The latter position is understandable, if not commendable. When you can leave the machinery of state largely on autopilot and focus instead on lining your own and your friends’ pockets, who in their right mind would want actual responsibility? There are honourable exceptions to this: Danny Kruger and Miriam Cates have both stuck their necks out, while for voicing mainstream British views on migration control and the inadequacy of multiculturalism, Suella Braverman was smeared as the reincarnation of Oswald Mosley.

But that’s three MPs, out of what was (until the Tories’ roundly deserved electoral hammering) several hundred. As for the others, their behaviour in Parliament suggested that whatever the electorate may have hoped, they mostly accepted it is Tony’s world now, and we all just get to live in it.

Mary Harrington

“Or else, perhaps, they understood how that technocracy worked, and liked it just fine” is of course the correct answer.

Samizdata quote of the day – What decline looks like on the page

What, in any event, does one say about the future of a country like this? The image that increasingly comes to mind when I dwell on these issues is one of an attic in a dilapidated country house, dusty and mildewed, with many old spider webs strung between the rafters. Brittle and frail, these strands of gossamer still somehow cling to the physical realm, and to physical existence, because the still, stale air does not contain quite enough movement to dispel them into nothingness. But all it will take is one decent breath of wind, one strong draft from a suddenly opened window somewhere else in the house, for them to be swept away forever.

That is how I envisage our political class and the chattering classes which surround them. They are of such thinness and intellectual fragility that they could be knocked over by a feather, and all we are really waiting for is to find out where the coup de grâce will come from and whether it will be economic, social, military, or something else entirely. To return to a different analogy, the feeling is increasingly one of wondering not whether the future is going to hurt, but how much – whether it will be equivalent of a knife or a bullet wound. We’re coming to the end of something, and we all know it; in this respect the promise of a ‘new Britain’ does seem somehow to be prophetic, although one strongly suspects that ‘renewing our democracy and rebuilding our economy’ are unlikely to be on the cards for a long while yet.

David McGrogan

A great realignment is coming; but what will start the avalanche and what comes next? We will only know looking back afterwards.

Brexit Independence Day

Today is Brexit Day, which is something to celebrate.

But to put it bluntly, the nation is an absolute mess. Levels of taxation and spending are insupportable. Pretty much every aspect of life is regulated by the state and its adjuncts. We have permitted speech, not free speech. Constitutional checks and balances abolished under Tony Blair have not been rolled back, in fact they have been expanded and deepened under a Tory government. The people responsible for mass abridgement of the most basic civil right 2020-2021 are still in politics and able to show their faces in public. The laughably named ‘Conservative’ Party has not only failed to fight the culture war, leading party members such as the risible Penny Mordaunt do not know what a woman is. Parliamentary democracy has in large part been replaced with a technocratic administrative blob, one that deposes Prime Ministers who question the high-status Guardian-reading consensus on almost anything. What remains of democratic politics has started to develop very dangerous sectarian elements in some parts of the country. And whilst the Tories arm of the ConLab blob have proven to be inept, inane, and malevolent, they are about to be replaced by a Labour government who will dial all of that up even further.

And yet…

On 23 June 2016, it was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, that even with every Parliamentary party supporting Remain, echoed by the majority of the mainstream media, the blob can be defeated. Never forget that.

Brexit was not the endpoint for anything, it was just the start of a long process of a great political and social realignment. Brexit was a prerequisite, a strategic battlefield shaping operation if you will. This will be a long struggle and it will get worse before it gets better. But it is a struggle that has to be fought and can be won.

Site issues

Some people have reported difficulty posting comments, which might (or might not) be related to waves of Russian traffic hitting the server.

Samizdata quote of the day – the tech insurgent’s battle for the future

Stagnation is an illusion. We grow or we die, and our planet is a museum of civilizations gatekept to their extinction.

It’s a grim question, but worth asking: are we improving our world today, or are we living in the ruins of a world that died with our grandparents?

The last moon landing took place on December 14th, 1972. Today, there are ninety-three nuclear reactors in the United States. We’ve built 3 since the year 2000. Following a century of complications, and a full decade building, New York City recently opened three new Subway stations along Second Avenue. There is presently no city in America capable of building a complete underground rail system. Fortunately, that knowledge hasn’t yet been lost. We’ve just been gatekept to paralysis. But a century from now, with no course correction, who will be left to teach our grandkids what to build, or how?

Mike Solana (£)

Or as the excellent Virginia Postrel phased it in her great book “The Future and Its Enemies”… Stasists vs. Dynamists

Ex-NYT Reporter: The world went crazy!

Very interesting interview from Unherd…

And what happens next, after the cataclysmic labour government?

As I have often stated I am keen to see the ‘Conservative’ Party not just lose but be annihilated, I was asked the very reasonable question:

And what happens next, after the cataclysmic labour government?


The impending disaster as Labour dials all the Tory idiocy up to 11 is what will hopefully create the political space for an actual small-c conservative party, likely some messy mishmash of nationalists, classical liberals and old-school pre-woke former tribal labour supporters.

The not-very-ideological “tribal voters” (which face it is a large chunk of both Labour and Tory voters) will only be up for grabs when it become impossible to pretend the old tribes still exist. Most Tory tribal voters have got the message, and some Labour ones as well. The next few years will convince what remains.

It will be a ruinous, horrible intermediate period (in the Egyptian sense of the term). Close to nothing Labour does will make people’s lives better, and as Labour gets desperate, they will become ever more rapacious as they try to fund various doomed-from-the-start schemes (such as the nationalised energy company, which I imagine will quickly become the British Leyland of our time). As a result, many with movable assets will indeed move them and themselves elsewhere until it becomes clear how things will shake out in the medium to long term.

That is how I see it. No prizes for guessing what I am going to do during the ‘intermediate’ period.

I have a dream…

I have a dream… and that dream is: zero seats

Samizdata quote of the day – the state is not your friend, NHS edition

That the NHS has been able to avoid reckoning with its own catastrophic failure owes a great deal to how it has become sanctified in modern Britain. To the fact that it is treated and used by our cultural and political establishment as something close to a state religion. We’re not meant to challenge it. We’re meant to worship it. We’re not meant to question it. We’re meant to give ‘thanks’ to it, as we did during the early stages of the Covid pandemic.

Tim Black

Samizdata quote of the day – we are so screwed

The Tories are delivering us trussed up and oven ready for full on, overt socialism/globalism/neo-fascism rather than the underhand stuff we’ve put up with for the last 12 years.

– Spectator commenter MaryR accurately summing up the UK’s future for the next few years (£)

Samizdata quote of the day – what a debate in Oxford tells us about the continuing rise of populism

And (Winston Marshall) pointed to some glaring hypocrisies within the elite class. Like the fact they simultaneously berate the populists while taking tens if not hundreds of millions in funding from global corporations, big pharma, and big tech. Like the fact they talk endlessly about the deeply troubling events of January 6th while simultaneously ignoring the violence of radical left activists and Antifa in places like Portland, Oregon.

Like the fact they warn endlessly about the anti-democratic ethos of populism while simultaneously using overly restrictive ‘hate laws’, their links with big tech and expanded taboos to denounce free speech elites don’t like as ‘hate’, ‘misinformation’, and ‘disinformation’.

Like the fact they routinely criticise Donald Trump for refusing to accept the outcome of the election in 2020 —an outcome he should have respected—while simultaneously ignoring how elite Democrats did the same thing in 2016, describing the election as “hijacked”, how the establishment in Britain refused to accept the legitimacy of the Brexit vote, and how elites in Brussels routinely force voters back to the ballot box to vote again at referendums when they delivered the ‘wrong’ result the first time around.

Matt Goodwin